I am Next in Line, what do I Say?
When you attend a funeral you are there to pay your respects, show your support to the family, and mourn the loss of a loved one. As you prepare your words for the family of the deceased, it can be overwhelming and difficult to find the right thing to say.
It is common to want to say your share of what the deceased meant to you and how you felt about them while also being common to be stumped for words during a difficult time of loss. You may be overwhelmed by the emotional tone in the room when speaking to the bereaved. Here are some tips for saying your part at a funeral.
Fond memories and stories – Share fond memories that you have of the deceased. Perhaps you two graduated together or shared the same hobbies. Using specific examples and talking about a time they brought a smile to your face or made you laugh tends to lighten the emotional manner of the atmosphere.
Speak from the heart - In some cases, the deceased may have had a big impact on your life. Perhaps they helped you through a tough time, or they supported you through a big decision. Express your gratitude and tell stories of the genuine person they were for you.
Exclude any phrases – Avoid using any phrases that you personally feel may lighten the situation you are in. For example, “They are in a better place now” or “They are not suffering anymore” These phrases tend to sound cliché and may even belittle the emotions the bereaved are feeling.
Still at a loss for words – If you are still at a loss for words, remember not to simply use a phrase to fill the void of saying nothing. Instead, shake their hand and express your sincere apologies for the loss of their loved one. Do what you can to offer your support and help through these trying times.
As you make your way up the line to pay your respects to the family of the deceased, keep in mind you are trying to make the day a little easier for them and offer your love and warmth as they go through this painful grief. Speak from your heart and of the positive traits of the deceased. If you have any questions or need any advice on this topic, you can contact, Thomas Gallagher Funeral Home, here.